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Hong Kong Survey Looks at Problem Gambling

6 February 2004

HONG KONG – As reported by the China Standard: "People who start gambling when in their teens are more likely to become problem gamblers than those who start later in life, according to a recent survey.

"The findings also reveal that more than half of those seeking help to kick the habit are already poor, while a further 14 per cent have no income.

"According to the survey, most problem gamblers suffer from mood swings and about 16 per cent have considered suicide as a way out.

"One of the 173 people interviewed said he had considered killing his family and himself as he could not repay his debts.

"The survey was conducted by the Caritas Addicted Gamblers Counselling Centre, which was established last October, through the financing of Home Affairs Bureau's Ping Wo Fund.

"…More than 40 per cent of the problem gamblers seeking help are men in their thirties while another 30 per cent are aged between 40 and 60.

"…Some 14.5 per cent of the respondents did not even have any income, indicating they were gambling away their savings or the social security allowances. Centre chief supervisor Angie Lai said this scenario was worrying…"

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